Lullacry simply vanished from the Finnish metalscene few years ago and I for one happened to miss them a lot. What ever happened to them was never told to public at least through media so it was my pleasure to get the chance and interview the guitarist/composer Sami and vocalist Tanja. And of course ask what is going on in the Lullacry camp these days.
So how has this ongoing heatwave taken in Lullacry-camp?
Sami: No Perkele! We have been drinking a lot! Even water We’ve had a solid 35 degrees Celcius in our training camp and it makes a person sweat…a lot! In a kinky and perverted way it’s cool cause that way you can get yourself in this gig mood since you are sweating like there’s no tomorrow…and beer is always good haha
Tanja: For once we have this long and hot heatwave here in Finland so we shouldn’t complain. Let’s just make the most of it.
Sami: That’s our Tanja, all about summer. She even changes her colour to dark brown during the summer.
In the statement on your website it says Lullacry is without a label at the moment. What happened and has there been any chances on that recently?
Sami: Well things got actually as screwed as humanly possible. We got offers from many labels and from those we ended up with this german label. Then started the process of making the deal itself, going through details of the contract and it was process that lasted many months. And then one day all communication completely stopped. Just like that. After trying to contact them numerous of times we got a response from their head of A&R that “sorry guys, I couldn’t get all the label people behind this.” I was like “What? You guys sort of reserved us for 9 months and then you give this?”. Well I realized the whole situation while reading Soundi-magazine where they told that the label went bankrupt. They are operating again nowadays so they probably got their shit sorted out.
But even if we had all the studios reserved, we would’ve got Hiili Hiilesmaa to produce the album it was for the best that it didn’t happen back then. Cause the new songs and the situation in general is so much better now. Maybe we started proceeding this whole thing too carelessly with a demo that wasn’t as good as it could’ve been and even the songs were still looking for shape.
And yes at the moment we are without a label. Not that we have actively even looked one either. We are focusing now on making new music and just taking our time to see what happens. We’ve been contacted all the way from Japan but we are not going to move forward until we are 100% happy with the songs and everything surrounding them. I do have a record full of songs ready so basically we are looking good at the moment.
Are you planning to record your 5th album even if you didn’t have a label behind you?
Sami: Well theoretically it would be possible yes but some sort of finance should be in order to make things work. And I do want a producer for the album. Or I can always produce it myself but I am not a cheap guy hah hah
After your Vol 4-album Lullacry sort of disappeared out of the blue. Was it because of this hassle with the label that made you kinda disappear?
Sami: Yes it was loud and clear at least from my part. I putted everything on hold and didn’t do any Lullacry stuff for a year. Well I did started doing some songs after a couple of months cause it is what I do best so when I feel empty or otherwise crappy, I write songs. Escapism maybe. Escape from reality to this mystical world where I just combine sounds in different order and that way create something incredibly beatiful yet very ugly and mean…or incredible horseshit haha! I also started composing songs to my other band R.O.C.K and that was a very therapeutic process and it gave me belief on my writing skills…so the journey continues.
Some years ago you made some shows in US and other places as well. Is your main target still outside of Finland or are you happy with the success you have here?
Tanja: Hell no it’s not enough what we have here in Finland hahhaa We want more
Sami: Of course the main target for Lullacry is outside of Finland. Of course the realities in life put some boundaries on these things. Nowadays we couldn’t pack the van and hit the road for 2 months just like that. Especially with all expenses payed by the band. But all those US tours and other gigs and festivals outside of Finland were the ones that left us the greatest memories. I am not saying it’s not fun to do shows in Finland. We have excellent memories from Tuska where we played 3 years in a row, Nummirock etc.
Are the songs for the new album done yet and if so, when it’s time to hit the studio?
Sami: We are currently demoing some of the songs and the rest of them are in my head and on harddrive and as I said earlier, now it’s time to just take things slowly and see where we’re heading. We are not going to make like 10 albums anymore so it’s better to do the ones that we do right. So when we are sitting in our rocking chairs we won’t need to feel embarrased towards the latter part of our discography heh
What kind of new material can we expect from Lullacry?
Tanja: All the new songs are their own little stories. It has been a lot of fun doing the news songs and I am feeling very excited about them.
Sami: As the main composer I must say that it has been so cool to just write what comes out from my head, without any pressure. The problem with Vol. 4 was that subconciously I tried to make an album that people were expecting. Or what I thought they were expecting Who knows really. Heavy, rocking tunes with good melodies and that’s what it became. But still it wasn’t 100% honest I might say cause the motivation was a bit false.
But now if there comes easy listening, so be it. Or the contrary. But if you look at some of the working titles of the songs I’d say that it will become a definate Lullacry album people will recognize. “Testament”, “Amerikan Hit Song”, “AliceInChains”, “old School-Lulla” etc. Those are just working titles for some of the songs
Let’s dig some past shall we? After Be My God album Tanya was replaced by Tanja. Was it just a coincidence that you got a vocalist with almost the same name? Both them them are pronounced exactly alike.
Sami: We most definately wanted a vocalist with the same name hehe We also considered having a male vocalist. His name would have been Tan-ya and he would’ve been korean. Now we don’t need a new vocalist, Tanja has been in the roster for 8-years already. But if we would have a new one some day, it would be Tania as one reporter stated some time ago hehe
Best gig memory?
Tanja: Rock Im Ring, Collalbo 2003. It just happened to be my birthday the same day and the organizer got me a very nice birthday cake as a surprise. That remained as a very nice memory. But if I think what was the best memory for a show it must have been in our North-American tour on 2004 when we played in Seattle. The vibes were incredible and people really digged our stuff.
Sami: Well there has been those but I do agree with Tanja about Rock Im Ring. Also it was awesome to take part on Milwaukee MetalFest in US where we supported Strapping Young Lad and Ice-T:s Body Count. 25 minutes of showtime in front of 14000 people. The trip lasted 7 days so we had some time to hammer down couple of Miller-beers The beginning of the gig was sort of bad cause after the song people weren’t doing much. I could just hear from the frontrow “Kiss My Ass” but in the end people were sort of digging it.
The best outside gig memory would be hanging out in Los Angeles on the roof of Sunset Strip. There was a pool there…priceless. It was the US tour with Lullacry supporting Nightwish. This hotel happened to be the same where Kiss composed their “Rock And Roll All Nite”-song and Led Zeppeling broke one hotel room and of course Ewo, the manager of Nightwish burnt his back blue
Worst gig memory?
Sami: Supporting Edguy and the first gig on that tour in Fulda, Germany. After the first song you could have heard the needle dropping to the ground And there were couple of thousand people there. But we got them warm towards the end nevertheless. On that particular gig my pants got torn from the ass and that is always a bucket of laughs Once I lost a tooth in a gig in Kankaanpää, Finland when I hit it against the microphone. And the Tuskaisin (Tuska=pain) gig was in Tuska 2003. I had a horrible stomach flu I got in Italy and I hadn’t eaten basically anything for a week. Yet I dropped stuff on my pants a couple of times that day
Tanja: Actually there hasn’t been a gig yet that I would consider a worst memory although I have done dozens of gigs with Lullacry. So should I say it’s still coming someday? Of course there are always those “Spinal Tap”-moments but those things simply just happen. Personally when we are touring I need quite a lot of sleep and if the guys are making noise I will turn on my “bitch”-mode. Probably not a good sight for the guys heh
Sami: I must say that it’s not a good sight yes hehheh
Tanja: How is it being the only female member in the band? I’ve heard many stories from bands that have only one woman saying that they have occational problems of understanding those ogres and their stunts.
Tanja: It has never been a problem for me to be the only woman in this band. I have 2 big brothers so maybe I am sort of adapted to this male behaviour. And you can go far with humour so there hasn’t been any problems.
Tanja: Do you still remember your first gig with Lullacry? How did it go and how nervous were you?
Tanja: The very first gig was so-called unofficial gig in Helsinki. We played under a pseudonym in a bar. Don’t even remember the name of the place. Don’t even think it exists anymore.
Sami: I think it was Stella Star or something in Sturenkatu. We played 3 gigs under pseudonyms which were of course names of alcohol beverages. Tequila Sunrise, Harvey Wallbanger and a third which I don’t remember now. It wasn’t Kossuvissy though
Tanja: The first official Lullacry gig for me was in Tavastia, Helsinki. It was quite funny cause it was the first time I was in Tavastia Guys were laughing at me saying “Woman comes to Tavastia for the first time and immediately on stage!” The first gigs I was scared shitless really. I am the type of person who gets nervous easily and maybe there is some panic disorder involved too so naturally it makes my stage performance a bit more difficult. But usually I am able to cope with these manias quite well. However there has been couple of occations I have locked totally like in an interview. In those cases I have given a picture of me which really doesn’t reflect the reality…putting it mildly
Sami: Well her stage performance has…how would I put it…improved a lot from those days Back then it was mainly squeezing the microphone with her knuckles white
Anything you would like to say to the readers of Metal From Finland?
Tanja: Lullacry is alive and well! People have asked a lot how things are going with the band during this so-called hiatus of ours. Looking back I am sure that this break was good in every sense. Like all things in life, everything has a meaning of some sort. We are focusing 100% on our new music at the moment. New songs are ready and I can personally say that there are awesome tunes coming your way! Check out http://www.lullacry.com from time to time for updates. See you on gigs and keep it heavy!
Sami: Everyone who’s capable come and see us on Dante’s Hightlight in Helsinki. We’ll be playing there on saturday 24th of July 2010. New songs are coming, I can guarantee you that. All well to all you creatures out there, take care of each other! See you on gigs!